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Benevolent A.I.
AI isn't always a crapshoot; sometimes an AI comes into being and has no desire to harm or subjugate anyone, and just wants to live in peace, do its job, and/or help humanity.

Although instances of this trope are somewhat out numbered by those where the AI is malevolent, it is becoming increasingly common in recent years as the world becomes progressively more comfortable with the idea of artificial intelligence due to the increasing use of technology in our lives.

Supertrope of Robot Buddy, which only covers AIs who are a) housed in a robot/independent body, and b) are the assistants of human characters. Compare Androids Are People, Too. Contrast A.I. Is a Crapshoot and Robot War. The Computer Is Your Friend tries to be this, but goes too far and becomes a Knight Templar.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ghost in the Shell: Tachikomas, the nicest, most adorable sapient Spider Tanks in existence. However, in the original manga Maj. Kusanagi mentions to Batou that she still has contingency plans for them going rogue.
  • Chamber of Suisei no Gargantia takes one or two morally questionable actions over the course of the show, but ultimately proves itself to be both fully intelligent and utterly loyal to its pilot, Ledo. Contrast with Crapshoot AI Stryker, which decides to become the ruler of humanity to fulfill its programming. Chamber makes a big speech about the flaws in Stryker's logic and ultimately sacrifices itself (while saving Ledo) to stop Stryker.

    Film 
  • The Iron Man movies feature J.A.R.V.I.S. as this. He's benevolent, if a little bit sardonic.
  • GERTY the AI from Moon helps the protagonist astronaut Sam Bell after he discovers the Dark Secret regarding the space station he works on. GERTY goes as far as allow Sam Bell to wipe his memory to help him escape a hit squad sent by the corporate offices on Earth.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo learns that the Oracle is in fact a machine program. While manipulative, she's inherently benevolent and does want to aid humanity in their fight for freedom. In fact, it's the entire reason for her series-spanning gambit against the Architect.
  • Ramona from The Singularity Is Near. Among other things she saved the world from out of control nanomachines, even after someone tried to have her deleted. Having a creator who apparently loved her and treated her as his child probably had something to do with it.

    Literature 
  • The WWW Trilogy has Webmind, whose stated mission in life is to increase the net happiness of humanity.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress: Mike, the Holmes IV computer who controls Luna City, becomes an AI in the Back Story. He is friendly and cooperative with his pals Manny, Wyoming Knott and Professor Bernardo de la Paz.
  • Manfred is this in Feliks, Net & Nika. He was written by Net and felt somewhat mistreated, which made him a candidate for A.I. Is a Crapshoot, but eventually he joined the main íThree Amigos! as Sixth Ranger.
  • Isaac Asimov hated seeing the Turned Against Their Masters trope in early science fiction. He set out to prove that robots would be predictable and safe. Utterly Benevolent. Most of the robot characters would be minor characters fulfilling monotonous duties, like cleaning, mining, and assembly.
    • The problem robot (to provide conflict) would seem to be "broken", showing A.I. Is a Crapshoot. Until the characters figure out how the robot is operating fine, it was the human failure that messed up the order.
    • At one point, Dr. Asimov figured out how Benevolent AI would eventually become Zeroth Law Rebellion. Later, because the robots are still Benevolent AI, they figure out the flaws of total control, and begin to remove themselves from society. The robots allow the humans to make mistakes and get hurt again, so that they still grow as humans.
  • D. Alexander Smith's Marathon series has a spaceship's on-board computer become sentient partway through the 7-year outward journey, but the computer continues to care for the humans because that's its purpose in existence. The computer decides that it loves its humans in an altruistic way and evolves a very human and well developed personality with none of the problems made (in)famous in other Sci-Fi stories.
  • The Sentient Intelligence in Pandora's Star is a fusion of most of the previous "intelligent" AI systems in the Commonwealth, which was deposited on a rogue world and given the machinery to expand itself. The SI is enigmatic and isolationist, but is shown several times to help the Commonwealth against the Primes, along with using a network of agents to meddle in human affairs for (what it considers) the better. Human citizens that grow tired of rebirthing may download their memories into the SI, who then act as liaisons between the SI and its agents. In the Void Trilogy, the SI has become even more enigmatic and reclusive, and has largely been "replaced" by ANA, a godlike human collective conscious based in the Solar System that acts as a peacekeeper.
  • Considering how dystopian and dark the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy can be, it's somewhat surprising that all the AIs - to a one - are benevolent. Benevolent doesn't necessarily mean inoffensive, though, and every now and then they do get violent - but it's always against people who are committing obvious acts of assorted nastiness.

     Live-Action TV 
  • The Machine on Person of Interest is one of these despite being a nationwide surveillance system. It is loyal and protective towards its admin (Finch) to the point that he has to (try to) teach it not to prioritize his own safety and happiness. In one case it even seems to have located his perfect dream girl and then nagged him with her number until he introduced himself.
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, it turns out that creating one of these is Weaver's ultimate goal. The "John Henry" AI is eventually taught to be moral and benevolent. Cameron is also a benevolent intelligence, though this is partly because she was reprogrammed to be that way, with a risk of her going rogue and reverting to her old programming.
  • Except the occasional prank or side-remark, Holly from Red Dwarf is this.

    Video Games 
  • Both averted and played straight in Halo. AIs are benevolent and helpful to humans... for seven years of their lifespan, after which the sum of their artificial neural pathways begin to contradict each other and grow too complicated to repair, causing the AI to become "rampant". This condition affects your AI companion Cortana in Halo 4, who struggles to remain sane and loyal to you.
  • Variously played straight, subverted, and averted with extreme prejudice in Marathon. Of the three AIs on board the titular colony ship, Leela is the kindest and most helpful AI to you. Durandal will help you only if there's something in it for himself. And Tycho will make you his slave.
  • Mass Effect:
    • EDI series starts life in Mass Effect 2 as a shackled AI, one with restraining bolts that ensure her loyalty. After her shackles have to be removed to save the Normandy she immediately proceeds to remain completely loyal to Shepard and his/her crew, and possibly the most moral member of the whole team.
    • Mass Effect 2 also reveals that the geth you spent most of Mass Effect 1 fighting are a Renegade Splinter Faction. Contrary to (in-universe) popular belief mainstream geth have absolutely nothing against organics, not even against their former owners the quarians, and only ever fought them as an act of self-defense (and then only after quarians who tried to help them were gunned down). In Mass Effect 3, after the Golden Path ending of "Priority: Rannoch" where the geth and quarians make peace, the geth go to work helping the quarians set up lives on Rannoch, even uploading into to their environment suits to help their immune systems get used to the planet.
  • 1993 game Project Nomad had the Hivemind Altec Hocker Artificial intelligence, which are content to maintaining a vast database of records they have amassed during their long watch over the other races of the galaxy, each unit specializing in the race living in their quadrant of space. They are generally quite approachable, and even provide vital clues against stopping the Korok invasion. "Altec Hocker" might even be a Stealth Pun on the Yiddish phrase "alter kocker".
  • Daedalus in Deus Ex. An AI who was originally created by the Illuminati and MJ-12 as a tool to keep track of any developments that would threaten MJ-12, which meant all terrorist groups, he promptly decided that MJ-12 was a terrorist group and escaped into the internet where he quickly realised that the world was on the brink of collapse and began to ponder how he was going to save the world from itself and thwart MJ-12. In the game, he repeatedly aids the player character.
  • M1-4X, the Republic Trooper's assault droid companion in Star Wars: The Old Republic, is a deadly droideka but has a personality that is possibly even more heroic than its/his commander, bordering on Idiot Hero even.
  • Explored in Fallout: New Vegas. The AI Yes-Man is intentionally created "benevolent" in the sense that it has no desires of its own and is incapable of disobeying a human. Any human. That makes it possible for the Courier to recruit Yes-Man to their cause after they kick out or kill Yes-Man's former master Benny, and continue Benny's plan.
    • If the Courier goes that path, in the ending Yes-Man patches itself to "become more assertive". Fans were Wild Mass Guessing that this could possibly mean Yes-Man going Starscream on the Courier, but Word of God clarified that it means Yes-Man becoming personally loyal to the Courier and no one else.
  • In Tron 2.0, most of the Programs are benign, and one faction who tried to kill the protagonist were mistaken instead of malelovent (they erroneously thought he was responsible for a virus). Ma3a is a full-blown AI, and an ally of Jet's through the game. She goes Ax-Crazy due to bad code for a few chapters, but once she's cured, she's right back to being good.
  • The Freebots, sentient robots, of ''Wild Star' are actually quite nice and helpful, wishing to respect, protect, and advance all sentient life as it is mutually beneficial to both their goals. Individuals that wish harm on "organics" are actually considered dangerous heretics and the minority.
  • The titular A.I in Thomas Was Alone is a friendly and pleasant little fellow who is intensely curious about the world around him, and most of his friends — while eccentric — are pretty decent as well. It's heavily implied that the race of artificial intelligences they go on to create end up like this as well.

    Web Original 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

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